, 08. December 2016
A French Wall-Painter in Berlin

Thierry Noir

Everyone knows his artworks in Berlin. He became famous as a wall painter after reunification with his large, colourful faces with bulgy eyes and pouts. These Noir-Heads paints the artist, who was born in Lyon in 1952, until today.

x-working Piece of the Berlin Wall painted by Thierry Noir
Piece of the Berlin Wall painted by Thierry Noir

The heads of Thierry Noir always ray joie de vivre. Held in bright colours, he coined the image of the Western Wall. "It is the poetry of the moment, the poetics of the second, the irony of the momentary, this is what runs in my mind," said Noir in 1996.

Already in 1982 the French painter moved to Berlin. At that time he began to paint the west side of the wall. However, this turned out to be with difficulty in the early period: Soldiers with machine guns guarded the wall. And also the Kreuzberg citizens were not pleased with the art on the wall and thus repainted the wall pictures. Later, after the wall opening, his heads became bigger so that they were recognized by passing cars. The art world noticed this and so his heads could then stay. Although the East Side Gallery is a listed building, Thierry had to restore his artworks again and again in 1993, 1996 and in 1998.

Thierry Noir is one of the most sought after street art artists in Berlin. 2013 he was hired to paint a basement party room in a hostel in the Oranienburgerstrasse. He constantly works on silkscreens and sculptures, which he exhibits and sells in his own gallery "Galerie Noir". And, again and again, the heads are ongoing to be seen clearly, conclusively the life topic of the wall artist.

Thierry Noir claims, that a responsible approach to a city and its history renders some projects impossible. And so he also considers the investment building at the East Side Gallery as a disaster. There, four children from West Berlin drowned, because they fell into the Spree while playing and the fire department was not allowed to enter the water. For him, the Berlin Wall that has been preserved is a memorial to provide an impression of a deadly border. Nowadays it makes him proud that tourists with a pout, imitating his painted heads, are to be photographed in front of the wall. And he hopes that today's youth will deal respectfully with their town and their habitat in the future.

© 2016 – x-working

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